Dean Shiels’ delight at points as the reward for Dungannon Swifts progress
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Now 10 months and counting in the Stangmore Park dugout, Shiels celebrated a comprehensive 3-1 success on Saturday over Portadown.
It offered home joy following three consecutive wins on the road across Irish Cup and Premiership play.
Following a summer transfer window that resulted in 15 players departing Dungannon, Shiels’ reshuffle is falling into place with the Swifts now ninth and nine points clear of the relegation positions occupied by Portadown and Warrenpoint Town. Goals arrived across the early stages of each half for the hosts plus a substitute cameo on the scoresheet before a late Portadown strike.
“We knew the importance of the game, the players came out and performed in big moments and we are delighted with the win,” said Shiels after goals by Cahal McGinty, Darragh McBrien and Ben Gallagher wrapped up a 3-1 win, with Oisin Conaty scoring the Portadown consolation. “We wanted a good start and to come out quick, which we do every time we are at home, that’s the aim every game.
“We sat them down at half-time and told them we needed more penetration, more chances on goal and more shots on goal.
“I thought in the second half we were superb for 25 minutes, with some of the football outstanding.
“We’ve got great groundstaff here that work so hard and it can be tough (on the pitch) with the elements but we want to get it down and pass it.
“Four wins in a row is great no matter where you are, when you are where we are you can see the progress.
“You can see the progress with the points and you can see the progress with the performances...there’s belief, there’s hunger.
“We’ve been playing really well this season but people don’t believe it unless they see wins and people don’t believe it unless they see points.
“It was always going to take time for the points and everything to gel, we are a new team with 15 players having left in the summer.
“It wasn’t going to happen overnight but now the turn of the year has come...we are starting to see the benefits of what we are trying to do.
“We are always looking to improve and add and bring in quality, first and foremost, the right people to fit in the dynamic of the group.
“Whether we have the budget to get it I don’t know, we will just keeping trying and looking to improve all the time...but today is about the players in blue that were here today and I’m delighted with the win.
“And we’ve been lacking impact from substitutes but Ben Gallagher’s so talented, he came in and added freshness and it was a good finish.”
DUNGANNON SWIFTS: Dunne, Glynn, Mayse (Convie, 83), McCready (Gallagher, 83), Smyth, Campbell (Walsh, 87), McKendry, McGinty, McBrien (Knowles, 64), Devlin (Coyle, 87), McGee.
Subs (not used): Nelson, Glenny.
PORTADOWN: Barr, Hall, Ruddy, Finnegan, Salley, Teggart, Jordan (Lavery, 58), Dupree (Conaty, 58), Beverland, Smith (Lusty, 58), J.Doherty.
Subs (not used): H.Doherty, McCallum, McKeown, Lavery, Tipton, Conaty, Lusty.
REFEREE: Ian McNabb.
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